The Marlins had “preliminary contact” with the Rays about starter Jake Odorizzi, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports. Currently holding the first of two Wild Card slots in the National League, the Marlins are looking for both starting and relief pitching upgrades.
Odorizzi, 26, has had a solid season, compiling a 3.63 ERA with an 82/27 K/BB ratio in 84 1/3 innings. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season, which will allow him to command a significant pay raise over the $520,700 he’s earning this year. The right-hander can become a free agent after the 2019 season.
The front of the Marlins’ rotation has been solid with Jose Fernandez, Tom Koehler, and Adam Conley. However, offseason addition Wei-Yin Chen has struggled to a 5.22 ERA in his first 14 starts, Justin Nicolino put up a 5.17 ERA in 10 starts, and Jarred Cosart has surrendered 13 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over three starts. Solidifying the middle and back of the rotation would certainly help the Marlins.
It isn’t shocking that the Rays would consider moving Odorizzi. A small market club, the Rays have typically traded away their talented players once they’re eligible for arbitration. The Rays also entered play Monday in last place at 31-36. While the record isn’t horrendous, the AL East is arguably the toughest division in baseball, so they would have their work cut out for them if they were to commit to contending.